Change is a constant in beverage alcohol, but the pace and scope of change today seems greater than at almost any point since Prohibition.
Craft brewers continue to show resilience through twists and turns of pandemic-related complications. After a 2020 of shutdowns and pivots, volume grew 8% in 2021.
The craft brewing business is a mix of trends in full bloom, trends about to launch, and trends simmering just below the surface, waiting to erupt like a geyser.
As bad as circumstances were for 2020, there are reasons for optimism. Many craft breweries took a direct hit with double-digit declines, but found a way to survive.
The history of package mix in beer has been a dance of the respective market shares of cans and bottles, each growing and declining in response to long-term trends.
Craft brewers continued many of the 2018 trends through 2019, but the future now has a giant question mark for many breweries in the era of COVID-19.
A crosscurrent is developing among craft beer consumers: a demand for simpler more refreshing beers that increasingly complement a healthier lifestyle.
As the growth of craft beer as a category has tapered off, some observers have lamented that frewer craft brewers seem to truly innovate, with many now following trends.
Several breweries are finding new ways to get customers engaged and involved, including taste testing and rating experimental beers and recipes.
The craft brewing industry has reached a new level of competitiveness, with increasing competition within craft and more than two brewery openings per day.